A few weeks ago we brought you news that Sky Poker’s iPad App had been upgraded to include Sit & Go gaming alongside cash table games, and that work on getting MTT’s up onto the app was continuing and expected to be ready for a later upgrade.

This means that the Sky Poker site is now available to more people, in more places than ever before. If you have recently received your Sky Poker no deposit bonus and want to start to build a bankroll on Sky Poker, then you can do so from the comfort of your armchair with an iPad or iPhone as your weapon of choice.

Sky Poker DYM GamesHowever, when building your bankroll, there is a more important choice to make than the equipment you use to play Sky Poker. For beginners, the type of game that they choose to play is arguably of most importance when it comes to developing a winning poker strategy as a relatively novice player.

The reason for that is relatively simple. Some types of poker game offer you statistically a far better chance of cashing out at the end of the game than others and therefore, the law of averages means that playing these types of games will be more profitable for you than the games where you have a much smaller chance of winning a cash prize.

On Sky Poker, the Sit & Go tab is a direct link to the best of these types of games and without doubt, the place to start for a beginner poker player, who dreams of one day becoming the next Chris Moneymaker, Phil Ivey or Victoria Coren-Mitchell, is the Double Your Money tables.

What are the Double Your Money (DYM) tables?

The Double Your Money tables on Sky Poker are tables of between two (in the case of heads up games) and 6 players where the aim of the game is to double your entry fee (minus the tournament fee paid to Sky) by finishing in the top half of players at the table.

So if you are playing a heads up game, you just need to eliminate one player to achieve this. If you are playing at a table with six players, then you need to finish inside the top three to win a cash prize.

There is no differentiation between the amount of chips you have, how many players you have eliminated or even how many hands you have contested through to the pot. If you are still in the game when half of the other players at the table have been eliminated, then you double your money.

So for example, if you play a 6-player DYM game with a buy in of £5.50 (.50p of which is the tournament fee paid to Sky) you are wagering £5 at the table. Finish in the top three at that table and regardless of how many chips you have, you’ll receive £10 back. If you are eliminated, then you receive nothing.

Why play DYM as a beginner?

Double Your Money games are great for beginners because they offer an excellent statistical chance of a payout. If you enter a tournament for £5 and there are 100 other players, you may find that the top 10 to 20 players will receive a cash prize. Taking poker skills out of the equation for a moment, that gives you a 1/10 or 1/5 chance of a prize and the odds of you taking home a prize greater than double your money, will likely be longer odds.

In a DYM room, the odds of you winning a prize are 1 in 2. These are much more favourable odds for the player.

Of course, you need to take into consideration your poker skills here. If you enter a DYM room and play dreadful poker and make a litany of mistakes, then even though the odds are more in your favour, you will still likely lose more money than you will make.

However, if you develop your skills and become a solid poker player relatively quickly (and this isn’t difficult to do if you are willing to invest the time in it). Then you can find the Sky Poker DYM rooms the ideal place to build up a decent bankroll to get you started on the site.

The first step

The first step when considering playing DYM games is to educate yourself about what is good poker play and what is bad. If you are a genuine novice, you may think you are a decent player already. The likelihood is, that you aren’t and that your strategy is based on false assumptions and gut instinct alone.

Head to the Sky Poker School to brush up on the strategy of poker, look at the Community and Sky Poker TV sections for further tips and advice on how to improve your play.

Even spending just a few hours before you play improving your knowledge and learning basic poker strategy will certainly help you before you head into the DYM rooms to start to build your bankroll. You don’t need to become a poker expert, just to understand some key basic poker strategy issues (such as the importance of position, when and when not to bluff and sizing your bets).

Once you have a basic grasp of these issues, you are ready to try your luck in your first game.

Key DYM tactics for success

1. Play the right price DYM for your bankroll

Don’t be tempted to ‘go big’ and gamble a large chunk of your bankroll on a single DYM game. One loss could put you in a precarious position financially and you are in this for the long haul. As such, play games that cost no more than 1/20 of your total bankroll. So if you have a £50 bankroll, play the £1, £2 and the occasional £3 DYM table.

The aim is to slowly build your bankroll to a level where you can afford to play the £5, £10 and £20 DYM games, without a loss impacting heavily on your balance.

2. Adopt a more defensive mentality

Remember, you don’t need to be the winner at the table in DYM in order to double your money. It is perfectly possible to sit on your chips and let other players take all the risks and hope you finish in the top three through conservative play.

A more defensive mindset is a better option in DYM for the most part, unless you have an exceptionally strong hand, or are struggling for chips and need to win some to get back into the game. However, you will have more success playing a strategy that is adaptable to the situation you are in, your chip stack size and the opponents facing you at the table.

For example, if you are at a table where many players are going ‘all-in’ regularly even with less than stellar hands, you can stay out of this completely and let these players eliminate each other, only becoming involved in hands when you hold premium pocket cards.

In contrast, if the table is playing very tight, a more aggressive strategy can see you pick up chips relatively easily, which will put you in a strong position at the table and leave your opponents in a weaker position and thus, with less options available to them before the blinds start to rise and price them out at the table.

A good rule of thumb is to err on the side of caution in DYM games, but to back up a strong hand with equally strong betting to show others at the table you do mean business.

3. Be aware of experienced players laying a trap

A successful tactic for more experienced poker players is when they hit a top hand, to underplay it. This can often trick a less experienced player into trying to bluff to win the hand, or perhaps feeling their current hand is stronger than it actually is and to place more chips into the pot than they ordinarily would.

By slow-playing, the experienced player lures one or more novice players in getting them to commit more and more chips to the pot, before going all-in with the nuts. Leaving you, at best with a heavy loss of chips, or at worse, calling the bet and being eliminated from the game altogether.

So if a player tends to have huge hands but doesn’t bet big initially, only calling bets or re-raising them, then you may be up against a player who wants others to eliminate themselves by bluffing in a hand they have no chance of winning. So don’t give them that opportunity. Play very cautiously against this opponent unless you are sure you have the best hand available.

4. Always be chip aware

Your chips are your lifeline in these games and the size of your stack in relation to others at the table directly corroborates to your relative strength within a DYM game.

Sky Poker Sit and GoIf you have a large stack, you are in a prime position and you can pick and choose which hands to play with alacrity and you should, if you play to a sensible strategy, convert this into a top half finish and a cash out.

With a smaller stack, you have fewer options, especially when the blinds start to rise. It is here you need to wait for a strong hand and then try to maximise any potential win by going all in and doubling through. If you can do this, you can put yourself back into the game and less at risk of elimination.

Remember the simple premise, players much prefer to try and eliminate players with fewer chips as it is less costly if they lose the hand. So keep your stack ticking over and you’ll always be in a stronger position at the table.

5. Pick your battles wisely

The last tip I can give you is to pick your battles wisely and this is linked to being chip aware as we outlined in point 4. If you are down to the last four, with just one elimination away from a prize, you need to be careful about who you try to eliminate or take on..

For example, let’s say you have the third highest chip stack at the table, with one player having considerably more chips than any other and one player having just a few chips and close to being blinded out of the competition.

Now let’s say you have been dealt A Q suited, a strong hand in a four-player game and you bet an amount which would put the player with the fewest amount of chips all-in. That player however folds, but the player with the largest amount of chips, makes a bet which would put you all-in if you call.

This is a battle you don’t need to face so close to the bubble and it is worth remembering that if you lose the hand, you are eliminated. Such a strong bet would usually indicate that the other player has at least a pair, possibly even AA or KK, so is it wise to play on?

No, fold the cards and wait for the player with fewer chips to commit to the pot. They’ll be forced to do so sooner rather than later and you may not even need to take them on to eliminate them if another player opts to do so ahead of you in the betting.

In Sky Poker’s DYM games, not all battles need to be fought and won for success, avoiding the battles that could eliminate you are vital, especially when you are so close to a cash out.

Image courtesy of Chris Potter from Flickr